CBN Extends BVN Enrolment Deadline for for customers of MFBs, OFIs


The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN has extended the deadline for the registration of Bank Verification Number (BVN) for customers of microfinance banks (MFBs), mortgage banks and other financial institutions (OFIs) under its regulation to December 31, 2017.
The deadline had expired 31st July 2017.
The CBN stated this in a circular posted on its website at the weekend that was signed by its Director, OFIs, Mrs. Tokunbo Martins.
It said part of its reasons for the extension was to support better compliance and avoid further financial exclusion.
It added: “As you are aware, the deadline expired 31st July, 2017, and consequently several OFIs are in breach of this regulatory directive.
“However, due to conscientious efforts noted, the CBN is disposed to acceding to the appeals received from the Financial Inclusion Secretariat, the National Association of Microfinance Banks, and members of Mortgage Bankers Association of Nigeria, soliciting for a shift in the deadline to support better compliance and avoid further financial exclusion.
“The various challenges encountered in the early stage the deployment of the joint CBN/NIBSS support to members of the NAMB have also informed management decision. In this regard, management has approved an extension of the timeline to December 31, 2017, to enable all OFIs to continue with the BVN enrolment and report progress,” the statement said.
Among other things, the central bank urged OFIs to ensure that all customers are enrolled on the BVN platform utilising appropriate KYC requirements before the expiration of the fresh deadline.
Meanwhile, the CBN Director, Banking and Payments System Department, Mr. ‘Dipo Fatokun at the weekend disclosed that the central bank and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) would soon make regulations to tighten the process of sim swap for telecom subscribers.
Fatokun disclosed this in a presentation titled: “Electronic Payments Industry’s Performance and Regulatory Issues,” which he made at a bi-monthly forum organised by the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Lagos.
The CBN director said the initiative would help in checkmating the activities of fraudsters, saying that some of the incidences of fraud in the industry emanate from sim swap.
He said: “We have heard of instances where people would say for three days my phone did not work. And because many of us carry more than one phone, if one is not working, at least one will work.
“So, what they (fraudsters) do is that they swap your phone. That is, they just walk up to a service provider and claim to be the owner of the line. Most often, they have studied that number and they have collaborators, probably in the bank.
“And because the process for doing a change of sim is so loose, the telecom company would change the sim for the person and so he assumes the phone number.
“What does he do? He puts the sim in another phone and starts using the USSD to make transfers out of the account into another account. So, we are working with the NCC to tighten the process of sim swap. It may include biometrics and a unique number may be required,” he added.
According to Fatokun, over the last three years, the cases of electronic fraud in the country has reduced.
This, he attributed to the introduction of Bank Verification Number (BVN).
Fatokun added: “The game changer is the BVN. It is not only helping us to identify who owns what but going forward, just as it was announced by the Bankers’ Committee at the last meeting, the BVN would be used as an instrument to track fraudsters in the system.
“When electronic fraud happens, money is moved from one account to another account. That other account that money is moved to, the owner can be identified. And when such owners can be identified, they can be blacklisted or watch listed.
“It means that fraudsters can be identified and if possible taken out of the system. So, the BVN is going to be a game changer in the respect. We are working on the final framework and when it is concluded, it would be issued to the industry.”
Fatokun cited the 2016 World Payments Report to have revealed that global non-cash (electronic payment) transaction volumes grew at 8.9 per cent to reach 387.3 billion in 2014. The increase was mainly driven by accelerated growth in developing markets.
The report also showed that cards have been the fastest growing payments instrument since 2010, as cheque use has declined consistently and significantly. It stated that debit cards accounted for the highest share (45.7%) of global e-payment transactions and were also the fastest growing (12.8%) payments instrument in 2014.
Global non-cash volumes were estimated to have grown by 10.1 per cent to reach 426.3 billion in 2015, aided by high growth in emerging economies across the world, including Africa.

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